Officials offer advice to ranchers, farmers amid fire danger

Cow in the field

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the threat of wildfires grows across Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will provide additional advice for ranchers.

Current weather and fuel analysis indicates a high level of fire danger in the Oklahoma Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma into west-central Oklahoma.

“Projections are indicating that Wednesday’s wildfire event could be one order of magnitude larger than the 1,000-plus-acre fires we’ve seen,” said Mark Goeller, State Forester and Oklahoma Director of Forest Service. last Friday”. “We will reintroduce OFS wildland firefighting resources to be ready to respond to new fires that could eventually exceed 10,000 acres.”

Currently, the ODAFF is encouraging ranchers to take special precautions to protect their livestock.

Before a forest fire

  • Maintain detailed livestock records: You should have possible compensations, records should be backed up in multiple locations, and include the location of animals and fences on your property.
  • Use clearly distinguishable identification methods: Make sure the animal has some form of permanent identification and save the animal photo.
  • Apply land use measures to limit fire spread: Limit flammable weeds, debris and trees and bushes in the fence. Also, remove piles of woody debris and non-native species that may not be suitable for your environment. During times of high fire risk, practice general fire prevention.

In a forest fire

  • Ensure the safety of your family and yourself
  • Allow animals to move: Open gates, cut fences, or drive livestock into lower fire hazard areas.
  • Actively Predator and Prepared for Migration: If you have a vehicle designated to move livestock, consider placing it in a location to quickly load and evacuate animals. However, you should only consider this option if you have a lot of time.
  • Communicate with neighbors and/or first responders: If animals are left on your property, let neighbors and first responders know to look for them.
  • Use emergency identification methods: If animals are loosely placed, you can get creative with short-term identification methods. Some manufacturers use spray paint to add a marketplace of personal identification to animals that have become loose during a wildfire.

After a forest fire

  • Record livestock damage: Take photos of dead livestock where they lay, document their location, and do not move livestock until authorized by insurance or local authorities.
  • Practice safe and humane methods: Animals can be seriously injured in a wildfire and need to be handled in a humane manner. Work with local officials to determine the safest and best way to do so.
  • Carcass handling: After filing, check with local authorities about disposal methods.
  • Accepting mental or emotional health support: It is natural to seek help to cope with emotional stress and understand the grieving process.
  • Apply for federal assistance: Federal assistance related to wildfire damage may be available depending on the incident. Contact your local extension agent or FSA office.

If you have an animal-free farm, there are still a few things you should do before a wildfire breaks out.

Before a forest fire

  • Practice proper rangeland management: Clear brooms and debris, limit the growth and spread of volatile plants, and keep fences and trenches free of weeds, trees, or bushes.
  • Store the device in safe locations: Store fuel, chemicals, tractors, trucks and other flammable equipment on fire-resistant ground. Maintain a fireproof lot for this purpose.
  • Keep records up to date: Maintain inventory of equipment, chemicals and hay/forage, take up-to-date photos of farm equipment and structures, and back up your records in a digital location.
  • Protecting hay or fodder supplies: Do not store all of your hay, forage or feed in the same location. Like your home, create a defensive space around any barns or feed storage structures. Also, limit weeds growing around hay stored outdoors.
  • Change daily activities: Avoid burning on days with high fire risk, and do not use the welder in windy and dry conditions. If you are on fire, take precautions and notify your local fire department.

In a forest fire

  • Listen to local officials: If an evacuation order is given, leave immediately. After evacuating, let firefighters know of any potentially hazardous materials in your property that could be affected by a fire – such as agrochemicals, diesel, pressurized cylinders or combustible materials such as hay or fodder.
  • Move device: If time permits, the equipment can be moved to a refractory or concrete ground.
  • Support access to water resources: Rural firefighting efforts often have difficulty accessing an adequate water supply. Notify first responders in advance about the fill-in sites that are accessible on your property.
  • Fire construction: If it can be done safely, creating a fire on your property using plows, discs, or other farm implements can slow or stop the spread of the fire. Only do this if the odds ratio is predictable.

After a forest fire

  • Contact your insurance agent for farm-related losses.
  • Photograph and document damage to equipment, plants or structures: After a fire, take photos of the date, time, and location of the damage. In a common occurrence, it can take several days before insurance adjusters are able to conduct personal visits – photos that create the basic truth of what happened and when.
  • Carefully move damaged structures or burned hay: Wooden structures that have been damaged or destroyed by wildfires can smolder for days or weeks after the initial fire has ended. Moving or removing stacked hay can result in re-burning when the bales are exposed to oxygen.
  • Determine eligibility for federal assistance: Federal assistance related to wildfire damage may be available depending on the extent of the incident. This information will be available from your local extension agent or the FSA office. Officials offer advice to ranchers, farmers amid fire danger

Dais Johnston

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